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Hancock Whitney honors "Women of Excellence" to celebrate Women's History Month

April 1, 2022
Tamara Wyre
Tamara Wyre

Throughout the month of March, we have been celebrating Women's History Month with a number of initiatives and programs here at Hancock Whitney. To recognize the richness of our own women leaders and their accomplishments, we asked associates to nominate an outstanding woman at Hancock Whitney to be honored as  "Women of Excellence." From these overwhelming submissions, The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council selected women who exemplify leadership, achievement, courage, service, strength and dedication in the workplace and community.

In addition to being recognized for their selflessness, empathy, confidence, determination and so much more, these outstanding women will join the ranks of our Hancock Whitney DEI thought leaders and our DEI Council in ongoing efforts that shape a workplace culture that appreciates differences, perspectives and promotes inclusion.

Excellence Category - Leadership


RoAnna ChenaultRoAnna Chenault | Director, Retail Segment Strategy | Gulfport, Mississippi

From her nomination: She empowers ME! RoAnna always has cheer in her voice and always displays professionalism and grace even in difficult discussions. She is an advocate for associates and holds them to a higher standard. She is also a staunch advocate for our clients. Her work ethic is tireless especially during the challenging times we have faced as an organization. No one would ever know just how difficult it has been in speaking with her. It is awesome to see a woman in this position at the bank. She continues to hold the fort down no matter what.

Kerrie Duvernay

Kerrie Duvernay | Director, Treasury Management | New Orleans, Louisiana

From her nomination: “We got this” are words shared by this leader with her team. Under Kerrie’s leadership, all of our team members have become more confident in themselves. She encourages us to think outside of the box and works to help us clarify our ideas to seek the best options for our team and clients. In her role as Treasury Services Director, Kerrie Duvernay has led with excellence by evolving the Treasury Services Division with a focus on our product development and by identifying process efficiency initiatives. Kerrie challenges our team to continue to build out our capabilities while still focusing on the servicing of our clients. She is able to balance her professional and personal responsibilities with a combination of grace and fire and she embodies our core values.

Sherhonda Smith Sherhonda Smith | Financial Center Leader | Rockwall, Texas

From her nomination: “I want you to succeed in your role” are the words spoken by this leader to her team and others. Sherhonda is always willing to help each associate, even if they do not work at her financial center. She goes above and beyond to make sure there is a clear understanding of policies and procedures. She ensures you feel secure in your position with the company. She leads by example and is proud to represent the bank in the community. While I no longer work for Sherhonda, she still calls to make sure I am staying on top of my abilities to learn and grow at the bank. When she interacts with clients, she makes each and every one of them feel comfortable and closes on the business. Her concern for both her clients and team members are outstanding!


Excellence Category - Service


Candance Clark

Candance Clark | Client Solutions Specialist | Franklin, Louisiana

From her nomination: She is here every day with a smile and a good morning for everyone. Candance goes above and beyond for her clients and co-workers with great energy and a big smile. Her unique blend of humor and positive energy makes her ideal for navigating problematic or highly sensitive client matters. She has the extraordinary ability to treat clients and coworkers with compassion, respect, understanding and professionalism. Everyone feels comfortable to ask her anything. She always has the answer, or makes it her priority to find the answer. She gives you the confidence to know you can do it and supports you along the way.

Kellie Collins Kellie Collins | Client Solutions Specialist | Conroe, Texas

From her nomination: Kellie Collins is heaven sent at our financial center! Words can’t explain how great Kellie is and her commitment to the company. The company and the Conroe Financial Center is lucky to have her on the team. She is always willing to drop what she is doing to help in any way. She is kind, patient, and an overall team player for our financial centers and the entire Houston area. I witnessed her going above and beyond countless times for our clients. I truly do not know what we would do without her support and guidance. We definitely need more Kellies in the world!

Marian Hoang Marian Hoang | Client Solutions Specialist | Lynn Haven, Florida

From her nomination: She possesses incredible grit and is an enormous asset to the growth and expansion of this company. The Lynn Haven Financial Center continues to soar in a steady incline because of Marian’s ability to communicate effectively and help clients beyond belief. Her positive energy and willingness to help others grow at Hancock Whitney is inspiring. Even in stressful situations she has the ability to navigate that in an effortless manner. Hancock Whitney needs more individuals like Marian. She excels in all ways possible: sales, service, comradery, and so forth. She always portrays honest interest and enthusiasm in her work.

Tosha HarrisTosha Harris | Supervisor, Contact Center | Denham Springs, Louisiana

From her nomination: Tosha is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to helping her team. Tosha is a great supervisor and an even better person. She is genuinely caring and considerate. She goes out of her way to assist team members on a professional and personal level. Her willingness to assist others and her commitment to customer service is beyond commendable. She inspires her team to be experts, and how to continue to stay positive during the workday. She is friendly and arrives daily with a smile on her face.


Excellence Category - Community


Paula Duplantis

Paula Duplantis | Retail Sales Leader | New Orleans, Louisiana

From her nomination: Paula is respected by her team and community. That respect was earned and not granted. Paula has proven time and time again that she cares about her market, team and clients. She has persevered through adversity and embraces change. Any partnership with Paula is built on trust, respect and true passion for our work. She has a perspective that complements the bank and stands as a pillar to support her team.

Cami Gibertini Cami Gibertini | Business Banker | Tampa, Florida

From her nomination: She is one of a kind, a fighter, a champion, a mentor, an incredible leader and above all a woman of excellence. Cami is a humble leader, compassionate and radiates goodness into every room she stands in. She serves as a board member to various local and national nonprofit organizations and has volunteered for countless others. Throughout her career, she has mentored numerous people, primarily young women. She is a master at making everyone feel included and valued. Cami is a true champion of service, courage, inclusion and teamwork.

Ashley Aubrey HarrisonAshley Aubrey Harrison | Senior Manager, Community Development Programs | New Orleans, Louisiana

From her nomination: Ashley is committed to improving the lives of the unbanked and underbanked communities by encouraging individuals to build generational wealth and end the cycle of generational poverty. Ashley demonstrates a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by looking beyond the surface. She serves as an advocate for the low-to-middle income communities and on the board of directors of Louisiana Appleseed to ensure that every person in Louisiana has reasonable access to the justice system regardless of mental or physical condition, economic status, or type of legal problem. Ashley also volunteers countless hours on local boards providing her expertise to organizations whose primary mission is to provide support to vulnerable communities across New Orleans.

Laurie Sydow Laurie Sydow | Executive Secretary | Tampa, Florida

From her nomination: Laurie exemplifies an urban day missionary and Hancock Whitney is her Ministry. Laurie proves that at Hancock Whitney we are a team that works together to benefit our communities and make a difference. She cultivates unity and progress and is an advocate for inclusion. Her dedication to finding volunteers, encouraging associates to do the right things, and recognizing the good in every team member takes persistence and courage. Laurie’s positive attitude and professionalism consistently embarks a warm and welcoming feeling.


Excellence Category - Mentorship


Elizabeth Hefler

Elizabeth Hefler | Senior Group Manager, Corporate Banking | New Orleans, Louisiana

From her nomination: She has mentored many young bankers throughout her years and has earned the respect of all her co-workers of various levels. Liz has a unique combination of objectivity and empathy that makes her a respected leader. She is admired for her career progression and the notable amount of board service she performs for non-profit groups. Liz’s open door policy fosters an environment that promotes open and honest lines of communication. She provides guidance when necessary and appreciates her teams’ dedication to 5 star service. She goes the extra step to fight for what is fair and doesn’t take no for an answer. She is a master negotiator and strives for equality. Liz continues to fight for what she believes in and what helps others even when she has no gain in the fight. She is one of the biggest advocates for associates.

Tina Stenum

Tina Stenum | Manager, Retail Sales Segment | Gulfport, Mississippi

From her nomination: She is one of a kind, a fighter, a champion, a mentor, an incredible leader and above all a woman of excellence. As Tina continues to grow within our organization, she is developing her legacy as a mentor to those around her. Tina is a dedicated, loyal associate who is willing to give more, learn more and grow more at every turn. She takes on every new challenge with a positive attitude, a willingness to go the extra mile and an exceptional level of service. She served our PPP Team by working many long days to ensure applications were processed timely. Through the midst of the chaos, she kept a calm demeanor and was helpful to every member of the team. Her commitment to our team and our clients along with the endless support is appreciated more than she will ever know.

Rosalie TranRosalie Tran | Client Solutions Specialist | Houston, Texas

From her nomination: Rosalie truly demonstrates excellence in all areas of inclusion, service, courage, mentorship teamwork and volunteerism. Rosalie goes above and beyond when it comes to serving others, whether it’s for a teammate or a client. She served with the Boy Scouts many years as a troop leader and helps the Eagle Scouts with college submissions. She also volunteers with her church and within the Vietnamese community. She is a hard worker and thinks outside the box. She is consistent and has a can do attitude at all times. She demonstrates there is always a way to help a client. Even though she has a tight schedule, she surprises her team special snacks. Locations in the Houston market have benefited from her dedication and skills. We would not be where we are today if it were not for Rosalie Tran and her spirit of Teamwork and Commitment to Service. Hancock Whitney has a true gem with this leader and mentor. She is a great example of living our core values.

Sandra Wilson

Sandra Wilson | Manager, Contact Center Sales and Service | Montgomery, Alabama

From her nomination: She leads by example and mentors her team to be great. Sandra is a strong leader who promotes diversity and inclusion. She is confident, creative, persevering and adaptable. She ensures that she imparts her knowledge for the benefit of the Contact Center and the company. She has grit and thrives in the face of adversity to be successful. Sandra is involved with the Junior League of Montgomery, an organization of women committed to the development of women. Sandra does not hesitate to volunteer her time in the community. She continues to encourage her team with in a way that demonstrates excellence. She is known for being strong willed, goal oriented, organized, detailed, punctual, and overall just a great person. She is truly a beautiful person inside and out. Sandra has the strength to take risks and fight for what she believes in.


Excellence Category - Teamwork


Alana Barnett Woods

Alana Barnett Woods | Digital Relationship Banker | Gulfport, Mississippi

From her nomination: She is a great leader, excellent banker and wonderful mother – balancing it all beautifully. Alana is a great mentor to other women. She advocates and enables positive things to happen in their careers as she continues to navigate and grow her own. Her commitment to volunteerism is fostered through charitable organizations such as Operation Santa and CASA of the Gulf Coast. Without being asked, she is engaged in activities beyond her job responsibilities that contribute to improving our organization. Alana works hard to lead and exemplify positivity in any team setting. She is technologically savvy and works on processes and programs to enhance the entire department.

Liza RigbyLiza Rigby | Client Solutions Specialist | Gulfport, Mississippi

From her nomination: She is the cornerstone of Crossroads teamwork and keeps everyone motivated to do their best. Liza is a phenomenal embodiment of the 5 pillars of Hancock Whitney. She always provides excellent guidance to associates and tellers at the Crossroads Financial Center. Tellers who work with Liza tend to grow within the company, and become knowledgeable under her mentorship and guidance. Liza is a great mentor, friend, and incredible coworker. She is such a strong asset to our team, a true leader and vision of independence. She is knowledgeable and inspiring. When it comes to policy and assisting her team, she knows just what to say and do. She may not have trained everyone in the financial center but, she leads, assists and teaches valuable lessons to everyone. She is the backbone of the Crossroads team, and we are so grateful for her.

Melissa BrandMelissa Brand | Senior Manager, Lending | Montgomery, Alabama

From her nomination: She has a drive for excellence, teamwork and providing unmatched service. Melissa views her internal partners as her clients. She listens, carefully considers all of the facts, and applies those to form the best solution possible for the client, all while staying within the many policies, procedures and guard rails that surround her business unit. If you know Melissa, it is clear that she has inspired this culture throughout her team. Melissa demonstrates a level of patience and mentorship. During times of stress she remains consistent with her approach and seems to find a way to provide advice to her team on how to improve and deliver 5 star service. If you have a question or concern, she takes it upon herself to research the matter for the best answer. Even if an issue is not covered within her business unit, she will know who to call or what direction to point you in.

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